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Steenamaroo

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Everything posted by Steenamaroo

  1. Hey all. I finally got another opportunity to get a proper test done and everything went really well. Here's the calibration plot. All this 'practice' meant that set up only took about 15-20 minutes, so that's great. I figured I'd take some shots of M42 and see what I could get. Didn't invest a huge amount of time as it was a first trial but I'm damn pleased with what I got! Thanks once again to everyone who offered advice and help here. (and yes...take flats next time)
  2. I've only had one opportunity to test and that was it, but I was able to calibrate and produce similar results three or four times in a row. This week has been wall to wall cloud, unfortunately, but next chance I get will be confirmation night (I'll report back) and then after that maybe I'll take a photo of something.
  3. Impossible to say what will happen in 50 to 100 years but there's hardly a digital data, or analog a/v, format from the past that can't be accessed by someone, somewhere. Enthusiasts keep old computer platforms alive and there are always public services for the restoration/recovery/backup of obsolete a/v formats. Your job, everyone here, is to have at least two copies of everything! That big hard drive you keep all your stuff on is great until it breaks, and they don't always need a reason to break. Spinning media (physical disc) is a lot more volatile than SSD, particularly where m
  4. My apologies - I totally over looked the eyepiece in your setup. Please ignore my totally useless replies.
  5. Ha, I just realised and was editing. Sorry about that.
  6. Must be some mix up there - The attached image is 200x200px. Edit: Oh, you mean Mars is 8px wide. 200x200px is very small for a final image. I guess that's a pretty heavy crop but, still, that doesn't make Mars any bigger. Bolting your DSLR straight to the scope is called prime focus. I'm sure someone could do fancy maths but let's, for arguments sake, say that's like looking through a 25mm eyepiece. You probably want something more like looking through a 10mm or 4mm, for example, so you'll want to use a barlow, eyepiece projection, or a longer focal length scope, or some c
  7. Thanks @alacant Certainly up for further improvement, although I'm very happy now, but I don't see either of those options. Are they PHD2 settings, rather than KStars/Ekos? I did take your initial suggestions about more calibration iterations and shorter pulses but things seemed to get worse. As I say there, out of curiosity, I went the other way with longer pulses to see what would happen and things started looking much better. I'm not sure if number of iterations made a big difference but certainly longer pulses was a key to getting a decent-ish looking plot and much better gui
  8. Bit of progress this evening...! For some reason binning 1x1 works much better 2x2 and always has so I stuck with that. Decreasing calibration pulse duration seemed to make things worse so, to experiment, I increased it. That seemed to really help the shape of the guiding plot, so I kept increasing/testing/increasing testing. Under advice from @Danield06 I went with 2.5 exposure, multistar algorithm, and auto-star. Seems like a solid combination. Once it was running well I thought I'd subtly tweak some values to see if I could improve it further and found that increasing p
  9. Update : Seems goto speed is, indeed, set at firmware level. Seller sent me a service version of the kit settings app which allows the setting of max goto-speed. Default was 1000X. I reduced that and restarted and the issue seems to be resolved.
  10. Not sure if I'm on to something or not but I notice that goto moves in both axis at the same time. If I attempt to move in both axis at the same time using the pictured motion control panel, or the seller-recommend synscan phone app, it does not work at 6/7/800X. Attempts to move N/E, for example, just move N. Attempting S/E just goes S. It seems like the E/W movement is attempted, at first, but just stops after a second, while the N/S movement continues. I've passed this onto the seller/manufacturer too, incase it's relevant.
  11. You're quite right, particularly when it comes to things like tightening/loosing. How tight? How loose? That's much easier to gauge when you can feel it or, at least, see someone else do it. I appreciate your advice and patience. My indi motion tab is slightly different to yours (pictured) but please be assured, as much as this guiding saga is doing its best to make me look like an idiot, I'm familiar with the speed controls. I had previously been setting 'custom' to 300 or so as a nice balance for use when polar aligning and that worked as you'd expect. The max speed, set explicitl
  12. Ugh. Packing up for the night. Can't believe I've fanally made some progress with guiding (not quite enough to guide) only to find that goto isn't an option. This is really starting to turn into a chore rather than a hobby. With the motors removed I can turn the large pulleys with my little finger, and the motor skipping issue even happens with clutches disengaged so it seems clear the motors are just weak. I sent an email to the manufacturer asking about the weak/high speed goto but unless he points me to a magic 'increase torque' button, I can't see much coming from that.
  13. Negative. My kit's max speed is 800 (and works well) but goto always tries to operate much faster than that, no matter what I set in indi control panel.
  14. I'll give that a go. Unfortunately I wasted most of the night thinking something was too tight or binding only to find out that ekos go-to speed is, apparently, not adjustable, and wants to go way faster than my motors can handle. Slewing anywhere at any (supported) speed is tip top, but go-to is a waste of time as it tries to go at 1000X, or whatever, and the motors just can't do it. I'll be back.
  15. Guide plot is looking very different after tonight's tear-down and clean. Can't say guiding is any better but it certainly looks like progress.
  16. I am (was) sorting freedom of movement...Holy crap, that was worth doing!? Backlash, however, was already as low as I could get it.
  17. Thanks for that - That's this evening sorted!
  18. Alright, I guess I need to figure out how to do this, then. Thank you.
  19. I suppose it's a question of how freely but that seems like conflicting information there. Releasing clutches and moving by hand isn't difficult, by any stretch, but to make a 130pds with canon 500d rotate DEC due to imbalance I'd have to shift the dovetail bar about an inch one way or the other. Does that description help to clarify at all?
  20. Thank you for the clarification and suggestions @alacant Balancing is something I've found difficult - With clutches off both axis are quite firm and it takes a fair push to move either of them. They're not ridiculously tight feeling, or anything, but the it would take a heck of an imbalance for them to rotate as a result of it. As such there's a lot of guess work going on when trying to balance the scope/mount. Is this abnormal? Should clutches-off movement be less firm?
  21. Thank you both for replies. I'm taking it all on board but this strikes me the most. "you have forgotten to move the mount north until the star moves before Calibrating" Forgotten...First I've heard of it. Is this something I need to do in ekos? I've read quite a lot of support documentation but never saw this. I have had very good RA in/out at times but dev is always a mess - Could this be the main reason? Another thing I discovered is that disabling dithering entirely seems to help quite a lot. I'm going to try tonight, weather permitting, with the s
  22. Got a break in the clouds...Here are some screen shots showing a typical guiding plot. I know there will be recommendations and preferred settings and, of course, I want to hear them, but please keep in mind I've tried every combination of exposure duration, image filters, and guiding algorithm, possible. Mount was polar aligned by eye, then by the alignment tool in ekos. It's damn close. I've tightened up everything I can think of tightening up - Belt pulleys are lined up nice and straight, and the belts are clear of the edges. Everything's tight as a drum, and the guide ca
  23. Thank you for all that info. I really appreciate it. The EQ5 kit doesn't seem to be particularly well known but it's a belt-driven stepper motor kit. I think my mount RA gearing could be tightened up a little - It's not what you'd call loose but DEC is tighter, so I'll have a look at that today. The EQ5 kit motor mounting brackets are heavy enough but they don't lock snugly against an edge - You're effectively securing two sheets of metal together with a single nut + bolt so it's not unreasonable to think there could be some minute movement there. That's another thing I'll look at
  24. Hi @Danield06 Thanks for the reply. The plot is not even nearly orthogonal but I suspected it should be. I had been trying to find images or videos of other people's calibrations but struggled so thanks for confirming this. I'll take a short video of the calibration plot next time I get a clear view of the pole. I'm still very much doing trial and error so I haven't settled on an algorithm, but had been trying Smart, SEP, and SEP (multi). To be honest, the stage I'm at, changes in image filter, algorithm, and exposure, aren't making a tremendous difference. I can calibrate
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